#ArtsDay 2016 Messages

Wondering what sort of messages #ArtsDay participants will bring to Parliament on October 25th? A team of arts advocates and CAC members have worked hard over the last month to craft the following three messages, which we’re proud to share for #ArtsDay 2016.

Key Messages from the Canadian Arts Coalition for Parliamentarians

1. Thank you for the arts and culture investments in Budget 2016 ($1.87 billion over five years)

  • The doubling of Canada Council of the Arts’ budget addresses a historical request from the Canadian Arts Coalition which will enhance the activities of the arts sector and provide increased access to emerging and equity-seeking artists and organizations.
  • The Coalition strongly encourages the Government to live up to phased-in commitments in upcoming years, particularly to Indigenous artists via funding from the Canada Council
  • We are encouraged by the current commitment to equity within this government and to see this commitment redress institutionalized biases that prevent the inclusion of equity-seeking artists as key players in our cultural sector.

2. Short-term investments from Budget 2016, in the Cultural Spaces and in the Showcasing Canada programs, need to be extended and sustained beyond two years

Showcasing Canada’s Cultural Industries to the World

Current investment: $10 million in 2016-17; $25 million in 2017-18.

Recommendation: $25 million per year over three years, beginning in 2018-19.

  • The new Showcasing Canada’s Cultural Industries to the World program addresses a long-standing request from the Canadian Arts Coalition.
  • The arts sector, represented by authors such as Joseph Boyden and Jane Urquhart, and touring companies like Red Sky and Tafelmusik, is eager to benefit from funding for international market access and especially the collaboration with the cultural attachés from International Trade and Global Affairs.
  • The Coalition believes in the need for strong support to Canada’s pluralistic cultural community’s presence and engagement abroad in order to truly reflect the demographics of the nation. Therefore we request that in designing the Showcasing Canada program, DCH consider how to address the particular needs of equity seeking or marginalized artists.
  • However, it will take more than two-years to build lasting relationships with international promoters, presenters, and curators, to secure exhibits and tours abroad, and to penetrate foreign markets.

Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

Current investment: Pre-existing funding of $30 million per year + $84 million per year in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Recommendation: Increase investment to $490 million over eight years until the end of Phase Two of the ten-year Infrastructure Plan, up until 2025-2026.

  • The reinvestment in the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, as part of Phase 1 of the Government of Canada’s infrastructure plan, is a timely recognition of the aging infrastructure at many arts organizations (i.e. National Arts Centre in Ottawa) and the inadequacy of many infrastructures with today’s needs in terms of accessibility, sustainability, and programming.
  • We want to acknowledge the value of the exceptional circumstances provision of Cultural Spaces for projects occurring in rural or remote areas, in underserved communities, such as official language minority communities, Aboriginal communities and ethnocultural communities, where the financial need is justified. Cultural Spaces also need to be accessible, especially for artists and patrons who live with impairments.
  • Considering the preparations necessary for any infrastructure project, including feasibility studies in the case of large-scale renovations or constructions, the timeline of just two years will significantly limit the eligibility to only shovel-ready projects in 2016.
  • Notably, with the increases to the Canada Council for the Arts beginning in 2016, the federal government has taken the first step by investing in the artists and organizations. Commensurate investments are needed in arts infrastructure in order to ensure that these artists and organizations have adequate venues to create and to present their works to Canadians, such as community hubs like the Theatre Centre in Toronto.
  • During the Infrastructure Consultation, the Canadian Arts Coalition recommended the extension of the Cultural Spaces investment throughout Phase 2 of the Government of Canada’s Infrastructure plan. We want to stress that the extension needs to be included in Budget 2017, so that arts organizations can begin feasibility studies.

3. The Digital Culture consultations are an essential process between government, industry, and artists – the Canadian Arts Coalition wants to ensure that artists are part of the conversation

  • Artists and arts organizations must be consulted repeatedly. Canadian artists such as YouTuber Lilly Singh, ballet dancer Guillaume Côté, singer Tanya Tagaq, director Deepta Mehta, artist Rober Racine, and composer Mychael Danna are all digital content creators. But technologies must be made fully accessible to all, including artists with impairments who are disproportionately affected by the digital divide.
  • Has the artist been fairly compensated? Support for artists is a central concern for Canadian Arts Coalition.

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